OK, so here's the puzzle. Next update it has been announced that the UK voice search, which was recently enabled on UK Stick+ devices, will now become an 'enhanced' voice search enabling various new tags that can be searched for. Link:
The problem is, whenever I search for anything on the big name channels like BBC/ITV/C4/Five/UKTV it is never found. Either something is very broken, or Roku forgot to pay for the schedule information and have been cut off or something. Without including the main broadcasters, this feature remains no more than a demo. It is almost entirely pointless. So, I'm really hoping this coming update fixes the problem otherwise all this supposed voice search stuff will never beat the competition's working offerings.
Anyone know if a fix might be coming in the next update with all the other voice search changes? Any Roku Support input would be useful too.
There isn't really any keyboard search until it fails at voice search, it's kinda the same mechanism. It is not the same as the US system (yet). It doesn't really matter how you interface with the search, it simply doesn't show any programmes from any of the main channels. As such it is a case of nice idea, but not useful. I know that the listings cost money to publish but if Roku doesn't sort this out it'll remain a curiosity. In the next firmware there are to be improvements which sounds nice, but if those improvements don't include adding the listings for the main channels it'll be for naught.
Is this the voice search through the mobile app, or in the new firmware ( that is still pending release, as far as i know) At the moment the search function is pretty much useless, as you have discovered due to the severely limited scope in what channels/apps it searches, completely missing any results form the main UK catch up services, such as BBC iPlayer
This is the voice search built in to the Stick+, which has already been released in the last firmware update but is not yet the 'enhanced' voice search which is shortly to come. I'm really hoping the enhanced voice search does actually search the main channels. I can't use the app because I have a Windows phone and the app doesn't support voice as far as I know. I think only the Android/iOS apps do that.
Just tried the voice search, and just like the text search it is next to useless, as it seems to miss most, if not all of the key UK services The only thing Roku has going for it in the UK, is that it covers all of the catch up services, and all of the main IPTV services. If Amazons fire TV had Now TV, and Youtube ( officially ) then Roku would be dead in the water.
"2pints" wrote: Just tried the voice search, and just like the text search it is next to useless, as it seems to miss most, if not all of the key UK services The only thing Roku has going for it in the UK, is that it covers all of the catch up services, and all of the main IPTV services. If Amazons fire TV had Now TV, and Youtube ( officially ) then Roku would be dead in the water.
Roku in the UK has four things that particularly matter here that it desperately needs, in order of priority:
1) The enhanced voice search (coming, today we are told?) expanded to cover at least the main services. Even just adding Auntie Beeb first would be a sign Roku is making an effort to get people buying over here. Excluding the main channels just makes people wonder if Roku are committed to the market or if they are going to disappear again like they did straight after releasing their first UK players. They've only just returned, and they need to show major commitment now to win back hearts and minds. Getting the Stick+ into actual shops rather than just online would help, as I only ever see the Express trying to compete on the shelves against the much higher end models from others. Having a competitive voice search to sell might make that easier.
2) Support for 50Hz output. Finally Roku will vary the output frequency to match the source, but they forgot to add support for 50Hz (certainly in 1080p mode, I hear it might sometimes work in 4K mode but this is not clear). Instead we see everything in the less than ideal 25Hz which many sets do not support (luckily mine does) so it ends up defaulting to 60Hz which looks bad for a 50Hz source. Since most TV sources in the UK are 50Hz that is a big problem (films are usually 24Hz just like the US which is supported).
3) The one main UK TV service they still need to attract is BT Sport. This is a paid service and not one I'm interested in, but a huge number of people are. I believe, to get all the matches in these big world events one needs both Sky Sport (available) and BT Sport (not available). A stick that could do both would be an easy sell during footie season.
4) OK, so this is in Auntie Beeb's court but Roku really ought to start some serious encouragement. BBC iPlayer no longer seems to do BBC Radio catchup. Whilst other channels carry the live radio streams, nothing seems to cover the BBC radio catchup service anymore. BBC generally advise people to use the web browser in such circumstances, but Roku sticks still don't have that option. That's why Roku particularly needs a specific channel for BBC Radio. Even if the channel is nothing but a simple web wrapper that would be fine.
So they could add Dolby Vision via software to compete with the offerings of others but I doubt many would benefit and that would not be a specific focus of UK customers.
Beyond that, I think Roku is well suited to the UK. Best stick on offer by far due to it's independence (except for Stick PCs, but they do require regular fiddling). Not much to tweak to get there either. All that's needed is a little will power, a little commitment and a project for a couple of interested people at Roku Towers.
Rokus UK presence is half arsd, for years the only models it offered had long been discontinued in the US, and then when new models arrive we only get the Express and 4K stick+ So your looking at £30 (US$41) for the basic hsmi only express, or £80 (US$109) for the Stick + ( all prices include sales tax at 20%) If you've got an old TV with no HDMI input, you are out of luck, as the Express+ isnt available, and most likely not supported by key apps such as the BBC iPlayer If you want something with a little more connectivity, such as Ethernet then your out of luck again as no Roku products support Ethernet input - no Premiere here, the high end device is the Stick+
There are also a few inconsistency's with the mobile app ( for Android and IoS) in that the keyboard text entry does not work on some key apps, again, such as Iplayer ( again)